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Life is Strange: True Colors

Beating the Backlog: Life is Strange: True Colors

I've taken an unconventional approach to completing Deck Nine's narrative adventure game, but that doesn't change the fact that I really enjoyed it.

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This is quite an unusual situation because unlike some of the previous games that I have played over my backlog beating journey, Life is Strange: True Colors wasn't completed over the course of a weekend. No, rather I have been checking this game out over a period of several weeks, often a chapter at a time when I'm reviewing a gaming laptop. There's no negative reason for why I have chosen to do this at all, in fact I've actually come to really enjoy the game, and appreciate its slower and more relaxing pace. Yet still it has taken me a bunch of months to get through a game that is around ten hours in length.

But anyway as I mentioned a moment ago, I've come to really enjoy True Colors. The story, while a little slow at times, is generally a captivating one, and the characters and the way they are portrayed is very impressive. Alex Chen is a wonderful protagonist, with plenty of depth, depth that is explored in a way that is both meaningful to the story and gameplay, but also in a way that it sparks a bit of emotional inquisition for the player. The decisions you make in game and the scenarios Alex finds herself in are presented in such a way that you want to make the right decision - even if the answer isn't a black and white one. What I mean by this is, generally speaking, is that a lot of game dialogue has a clear correct and incorrect answer, and it's up to you the player to decide whether you want to be the perfect good or rather play devil's advocate and select something just to be evil. In True Colors, there's never a clear way to determine which is which, and it really does give each decision gravity, as there's no real way of telling how a character will react to your choice of dialogue.

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While for a game like True Colors, the narrative is clearly very important and developer Deck Nine has done a great job at creating one that is engaging and immersive, one of the other parts of this game that has always caught my eye is the colourful and vibrant art style and world that the game is set in. The host town of Haven Springs is absolutely stunning. It's the sort of picturesque rural town that you see on postcards, or the sort of place that you'd expect to find outside of frame in a Bob Ross painting. It's a truly gorgeous place that is a wonder to explore, which in truth is helped by the great cast of characters that litter the streets and that provide unique and unusual interactions to keep exploration and the wider gameplay fresh.

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On the topic of gameplay, I will say that the general pacing here can be a little monotonous at times and dull, as you will be exploring just to hear some minor, often irrelevant line of dialogue. There are occasions that some important memory can be discovered, or likewise sometimes speaking to someone or interacting with something can open up a dialogue option to learn more about a specific character and their motivations. But generally these are few and far between, meaning a lot of the explorative gameplay revolves around cruising around the same part of Haven Springs just to discover something very trivial. Needless to say, you can see why I often found it a bit boring at times.

Life is Strange: True ColorsLife is Strange: True Colors
Life is Strange: True ColorsLife is Strange: True Colors

But, the really important part to take into consideration is that generally my less positive things to say about this game are infrequent, and for the most part, I've come to really appreciate Deck Nine's take on this fabulous narrative-heavy series. While I don't think this story quite sets up a sequel in the way that the mainline Life is Strange games did, I do hope we get to see Alex and some of the supporting characters (perhaps even Haven Springs) make appearances in future LiS games, because this game is full of such charisma and character that it would be a shame for it to never be featured again.

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